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For me (not a huge dessert person) pie is not something I eat very often. But – man oh man – this pumpkin pie from Eddie's of Roland Park made me want a second piece. Not too sweet, very flavorful, perfect texture. This Thanksgiving, I'm going to my brother's house and taking dessert. And as much as I WANT to make my favorite pie (Cook's Illustrated's Chocolate Cream Pie) I am thinking that I will likely simply stop in at Eddie's on Roland and grab one of these pies. The whipped cream will be homemade, though!
Already a hit in Butchers Hill
In the space formerly occupied by Salt Tavern on Pratt Street in Butchers Hill, which closed in 2018, Marta opened a few weeks ago. With minimally dressed tables (my favorite), custom tile work, tons of natural light, the restaurant is lovely. I sat at the bar and had a mezcal negroni and enjoyed a little respite at the end of a very long day. It was 4:30, in between lunch and dinner service for food. I will go for a meal soon. The photos and raves I have been seeing on Instagram are making me happy for the owners – and hungry for sure. 
A welcome addition to Lauraville
                                                                                                              Photos courtesy of Cafe Campli
In towns all over Italy, the neighborhood bar is where your day often begins with a coffee and ends with an Aperol Spritz. And in between, you might stop in for a pastry, panini, maybe a bowl of pasta. It's more than a place to eat and drink, it's a place where you feel like a part of the mix, of the community and most of all, welcome.

That's what owners Paul and Sam Mincarelli of
Cafe Campli are aiming to do along Harford Road in Lauraville: become a welcoming place for the community. Campli's name comes from a town in the Abruzzo region of Italy, about 2.5 hours from Rome. Surrounded by both mountains and the coast, it's a very unique part of Italy, and not one of the areas a ton of tourists visit.

You can read more about this wonderful little place in Amanda Yeager's piece in The Baltimore Sun

Paul and Sam are married and met at Friendsgiving
Sam is an architect
They both worked at Allora in Mt. Vernon
Pizza at Cafe Campli will be sold "al tagio" style (cut with scissors!) based on how much you want to eat
There's a $1 discount if you enjoy your espresso standing at the bar (just like in Italy!)

For now, they are open 8:00am – 3:00pm, closed on Tuesdays. Once they find their rhythm, they hope to expand to happy hour and then, eventually, dinner hours. They have a liquor license and plan to serve mainly wines from Abruzzo, but also local wines from The Wine Collective, plus amaro and beer. They're currently building out their cocktail menu and this weekend offered three different house cocktails.

I wso enjoyed sitting down with Paul and Sam to learn more about their story. I love when a new restaurant opens and the owners are so passionate, know what they're doing and are clear about why they're doing it. Their neighbors in Lauraville are already enthusiastically supporting it – GO!

 New smaller tavern coming inside Woodberry Kitchen
Early afternoon light in the tavern
The old WK woodpile shelves are repurposed into the tavern's dining tables.
The area that once was the main dining room is now a busy event space.
View of the bar from the entryway
Since it opened 15 years ago, Woodberry Kitchen was embraced. And it was different. The phrase farm-to-table was new to a lot of people and Woodberry did it more seriously and strictly than any other restaurant. Sure, Baltimore chefs and farmers worked as partners before 2007, but Woodberry definitely talked about it more than anyone else ever did. At times, this dedication to local, seasonal ingredients could be a bit challenging to diners (it took me a minute to embrace the "tomolive" for example) but I always respected this approach at its core. And I always loved that they listed the farms they worked with on the menu. I am farmer fan.

Earlier this week, I sat down with owner Spike Gjerde for a chat and a tour of the reconfigured spaces inside Woodberry Kitchen, which is scheduled to reopen to diners on December 1 after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For clarity: the building and overall space is still known at Woodberry Kitchen and the new dining space is called Woodberry Tavern. I personally needed that clarification.

The tavern is situated inside what was known as Woodberry Hall, which if you've been around as long as me (insert old lady emoji) you also know was the original location of Artifact Coffee. As you come in through the main entrance of Woodberry Kitchen, this is the large, light-filled room to your right. Fun fact: I hosted a Friends School alumni event in this very room right before WK opened. Full circle feelings here. 

Woodberry Tavern offers 29 seats at tables varying in size and seating styles and there is also a five-seat bar. There are five taps, four will be beers and one will be cider, to start. Plus wine and cocktails, of course. 

Since the wood-burning oven and open kitchen are now a thing of the past, the WK menu needed to be distilled down to a smaller, more structured one in order to work efficiently from a much smaller, multi-use kitchen. One feature of the Woodberry Tavern menu will be sides "for the table" – this makes me happy, I love eating this way. For appetizers and mains, they will serve dishes you might see in a classic tavern (I'm hoping that steak tartare and some kind of amazing fried potato situation will end up on the menu), plus oyster service and a focus on cheese. Once they've been open for a bit, look for a "sandwich hour" to be added – likely 10:00-11:00pm – serving a burger, among other bar/tavern sandwich favorites. Final Woodberry Tavern menu coming soon. They will be opening up reservations soon, too, so be sure to follow Woodberry Kitchen on Instagram to stay in the loop.

This Saturday 11/26, you will be able to get a preview of the space. Woodberry is hosting a post-Thanksgiving event featuring freshly shucked oysters, smash burgers and fries. No tickets needed, just purchase food and drinks – cocktails, wine, beer – on your own. 

Check out more in-depth WK reopening articles from Baltimore Magazine and the Baltimore Sun

I'm excited to go and have dinner in this beautiful space. Thanks for the chat and preview, Spike. It was wild being in your space again. 

Party tip: Hire Chef Andy Gaynor to make sushi in your kitchen
Chef Andy Gaynor is a super talented guy. I first met him back at PABU (my favorite restaurant, RIP) and was always impressed by not only his Japanese cooking skills, but also his warmth and kind nature. Ten years later, he's not working in a restaurant kitchen – instead, he's spending more time with his family and is making custom knives with his business, Fire Knives. Also, he does sushi dinners at home for clients and one day I want to be one of those clients! If you'd like treat yourself to a new knife or invite friends over for a beautiful sushi dinner, hit him up. His IG is sushi.andy.
A lovely way to visit 

Last Sunday, some friends and I had a fantastic visit at Old Westminster Winery – enjoying charcuterie, pizza, doughnuts and of course, wine – in one of the beautiful new winter greenhouses. So much fun and what a huge treat. Highly recommend doing this with a group of friends, book now...I think they are nearly full. 

A few key details from my last newsletter:

We invite you to join us at the farm to enjoy the warmth of the season with the ones you love in a private greenhouse!

Each greenhouse – set with warm decor under string lights – includes a comfortable seating arrangement for 2 - 12 guests on our patio overlooking the vineyard. The greenhouses are heated and weatherproof to keep you comfortable. A non-refundable reservation fee books your greenhouse and a $150 food and beverage spend minimum is required. The reservation fee does not count toward the spend minimum.

Info and booking:
New food vendor at Union Craft Brewing
My friend and longtime Union Craft Brewing bartender, Jon Carroll and his friend Eric Bainbridge (with Brewers Art for many years) are teaming up to open Carroll & Son Fine Foods in the kitchen space inside Union's taproom. The folks at Well Crafted Pizza closed up shop last week after seven years in business.

Right now, they are cooking and serving some very delicious food from a truck they're borrowing from the folks at Snake Hill, which is parked outside in the Union Craft Brewing beer garden. Follow along on Instagram for up-to-date menus, etc. They are hoping to be setup in the space inside Union early in the new year and they are open during the brewery's hours.

A Popular COVID takeout pivot will soon become a restaurant
I had dinner for the first time last weekend at Limoncello at Anthem House in Locust Point. I liked it! We had drinks and pasta – carbonara for me, gnocchi for my friend, Katie. 

As we walked to our cars, Katie pointed out that Limoncello is building out a new pizza place next door. Limoncello Pizza will be set up for mostly carryout, like a classic NYC slice shop and it will be open Spring 2023 if all goes to plan. The idea of the pizza shop grew out of a COVID pivot of takeout pizzas that were extremely popular with neighborhood folks. How cool is that? This article from South Baltimore.com says that the pizzas will mainly be New York and Tuscan style. The pizza in Limoncello's photos (above) looks killer! 
Tacos and margs and music – oh, yeah
                                                                                                                    Photo cred: Baltimore Sun
Longtime Le Diplomat chef George Lloyd and Scott Parker's Wave Group in DC and Northern Virginia are teaming up to open Baja Tap in the space that most recently housed Bond Street Social in Fell's Point in late 2023. 

From Amanda Yeager's article in the Sun:

Lloyd is looking to create a more casual atmosphere at Baja Tap. “The concept is going to be simple: tacos, margaritas and live music,” he told me, with menu highlights like moles and birria made in-house. Following a trend that flourished during the height of the pandemic’s limited-contact era, the new spot will ask diners to order food and drink via QR code rather than sending a server to the table.

For a taste of Baja Tap before it opens in Baltimore, head down to Adams Morgan, where a sister restaurant will be opening in late February or early March. Lloyd said the Fells Point spot is slated to open by August.

Tacos + margaritas = happiness. Excited, hope the next nine months go fast!
Take your time, friends 

In the words of T Swift, "You need to calm down".

In my last newsletter, I mentioned a few places opening in the city over the next few months. And as I thought about the subject of new restaurants, I
decided to write a blog post about new restaurants and how I tend to approach them. TLDR: Wait. And if you can't wait, be patient and kind. People get so excited about new restaurants opening and often feel the need to go immediately. But I just ask that you hold off on forming an opinion in the first few weeks of a restaurant's life. It's likely that a menu, service style and many other aspects of a new restaurant will change over the first few months. And, as sexy as a new restaurant may seem, don't forget about the ones that are already your favorites. They need you, too!

On living a smaller and simpler life
                                                                                                  Photo cred: Tracey Brown, Paper Camera 
Big, big thanks to Baltimore Magazine for the lovely feature on my apartment and the simpler kind of life I lead. 

It's easy to become overwhelmed by your belongings. Whether it's in your basement, an extra bedroom or wherever you keep extra stuff, it feels SO GOOD to weed through it and remove the things (and, sometimes memories) you not need to hold onto. Take it slow. One basket or shelf or whatever at a time. I promise, it will feel good. Now that I own fewer things, I can see my life more clearly, it's that simple. 

You can read the article HERE.

Thank you, Janelle!

Why not dream, right?
And funny enough, after that very nice article, I am feeling a pull – it's time to figure out my next living situation. Buy, rent, who knows, but it's time. I've loved my three years at Whitehall Mill, especially during COVID because it's so quiet and private. If you know or hear of someone looking, let me know. It's a great apartment.

A few key features:

Large studio loft
Smaller building (28 units total)
Key fob entry
Washer/dryer in-unit
Large walk-in closet
High ceilings
Tall windows and deep sills
Office nook
Pet friendly
Secure parking
Market in building / food vendors
Full service restaurant
Hair salon
1 minute to 83S / 5 minutes to 83N


As I said, I'm not sure where I will live next, but I have a dream of a little house or otherwise small space north of the city. I've been quietly asking around for the last few years. I'd love to rent an "out" building or finished garage (a'la Arthur Fonzarelli, The Fonz) or something otherwise quiet and easy north of the city, like Greenspring Valley, Cockeysville, Reisterstown – or maybe little further out Falls Road. Not too far, though, I'd like to be within about 20 minutes of downtown. My needs are simple: a decent kitchen, wifi, washer-dryer, a bathtub, smooth (not carpet) floors and maybe a little outdoor space if I'm being greedy. Let me know if you can connect me with people who might have something they'd like to rent to a nice, quiet, middle-aged person with a senior cat!
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Thank you so much,

xo - 


Amy Langrehr
Charm City Cook
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